《聆聽愛的季節》（紐西蘭/ 2019 /戲劇）
紐西蘭導演哈米許貝內特為毛利人後裔（NgātiWhakaue，Patuharakeke，Kati Waewae），也是全職教師。他的第一部短片《The Dump》獲得2012年紐西蘭作家協會獎最佳短劇本獎，第二部短片《Ross & Beth》也贏得多個獎項，包括2014年紐西蘭國際電影節評審獎及觀眾票選獎。《聆聽愛的季節》是哈米許貝內特的第一部長片，全片在他出身的北島北農村地區拍攝。- 宣傳素材
北島北的農村對於貝內特來說是切身的經驗。他在晃加雷的陶拉羅阿（Tauraroa）長大，就在本片場景芒卡卡拉梅（Maungakaramea）的西南方。他的爸媽帶著幼年的他搬到該區並在當地學校任教，他也在該校一路讀到12年級。貝內特的父親出身Te Arawa族，母親則是Ngāpuhi和Kai Tahu後裔。他在陶拉羅亞地區的學校讀完最後學年12年級，就前往布雷姆灣學院完成最後一年的學業，當地距離他母親族人的Takahiwai毛利人集會區不遠。之後他在北帕默斯頓取得學士學位，回到北島北在Maungakaramea學校擔任教職。他現在和妻兒一起住在奧克蘭的曼格里橋。
- 《聆聽愛的季節》是根據哈米許貝內特的獲獎短片《Ross & Beth》（2014）發展而來。（IMDB）
據他表示，Ross和Beth角色靈感來源（最早出現在貝內特2015年的短片《Ross & Beth》）是小時候住在他家隔壁的夫婦。
SUNDAY SEE THE WORLD
BELLBIRD (NEW ZEALAND/2019/DRAMA)
Set over four seasons on a humble Northland dairy farm, Bellbird is the story of a dairy farmer struggling to cope with the sudden death of his beloved wife, and the gradual bond he builds with his gentle only son and the local community. Ross is a man of few words and when his wife Beth dies, so does his spirit. His son Bruce is reluctant to change his own life to help run the farm but can see his father struggling, both physically and emotionally. Without Beth as a buffer, the distance in their relationship is exacerbated. The presence of local boy Marley proves useful, as does the unsolicited support from Bruce’s boss at the dump, Connie, and from Clem, the local vet. It’s been almost a year since Beth’s death when things unexpectedly come to a head and Ross has to finally connect with his own grief and let go.
Bellbird tells the story of a dairy farmer struggling to cope with the sudden death of his beloved wife, and the gradual bond he builds with his gentle only son and the local community. The movie, written by Bennett, is set over four seasons in a modest Northland dairy farm.
A story of loss, love and hope. Told with great heart, and warm humour, this film shines a light on the plight of a small rural community where the people are the heroes.
Writer/Director: Hamish Bennett (feature debut)
Producer: Orlando Stewart, Catherine Fitzgerald
Production Co: Herringbone Productions Ltd.
Cast: Cohen Holloway (What We Do In The Shadows),
Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok),
Marshall Napier (The Light Between Oceans),
Annie Whittle (The Worlds Fastest Indian)
About the director:
Hamish Bennett is a New Zealand film-maker of Māori descent (Ngāti Whakaue, Patuharakeke, Kati Waewae) and a fulltime school teacher. His first short film, The Dump, won Best Short Script at 2012’s NZ Writers Guild Awards. His second short, Ross & Beth, won numerous awards, including the Jury and Audience prizes at the 2014 New Zealand International Film Festival. Bellbird is Hamish’s first feature film and is set in the small rural Northland community where he grew up. – press kit
Rural Northland is particularly real for Bennett. He grew up in Tauraroa, near Whangarei and just southwest of Maungakaramea, where Bellbird is set. His parents, both teachers, moved there when he was an infant and taught at the local school, where he studied from Year 1 through to Year 12. Bennett is Te Arawa on his dad's side and Ngāpuhi and Kai Tahu on his mother's. Tauraroa Area School stopped at Year 12, so Bennett went to Bream Bay College for his final year of school – not far from his mum's marae at Takahiwai. After a stint in Palmerston North, where he completed his BA, Bennett returned to Northland, eventually securing a teaching position at Maungakaramea School. He now lives in Mangere Bridge, Auckland, with his wife and kids.
Bennett came to filmmaking after giving up another passion: rugby. He stopped playing at 27 due to injury.
"As much as I really do love teaching... there's always that kind of element of you that feels a little bit unfulfilled, and once I'd finished rugby, I was kind of at a bit of a loose end outside of school hours, so I ended up having a crack at a bit of writing," Bennett says.
- Rachel House, Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film, Moana (2016), Behind the Voice Actors Awards, 2017.
- Best Screenplay, Intl FF & Awards Macao, 2019.
- Best Film Nominee, Intl FF & Awards Macao, 2019.
- Best Narrative Feature, People’s Choice Award Nominee, Melbourne IFF, 2019.
- Best Film Nominee, Sydney FF, 2019.
- Cleveland International Film Festival, US (online)
- Perth Film Festival, Australia
- Victoria Film Festival, Canada
- Mostly British Film Festival, US
- Palm Springs International Film Festival, US
- Macao International Film Festival, China
- Cork Film Festival, Ireland
- Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia
- Leiden International Film Festival, Netherlands
- Hawaii International Film Festival, US
- Chicago International Film Festival, US
- Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, Canada
- Calgary International Film Festival, Canada
- Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
- New Zealand International Film Festival, NZ
- Sydney International Film Festival, Australia
- A tender, amusing reflection on life and loss in a small New Zealand dairy farm -
- Actions clearly speak louder than words in this sensitive, hopeful feature….
- Rural Kiwi characters rarely seen on-screen take centre stage in the new film Bellbird, directed by Northland primary school teacher Hamish Bennett. -
- A taciturn New Zealand farmer must learn to cope after the death of his wife in Hamish Bennett's cozy, caring debut. -
- Bellbird is a perfectly tuned piece of work; it’s the best New Zealand film of the year and a classic in the making. -
- Heartwarming tale…-
- New Zealand comedy Bellbird explores men's mental health and importance of community in rural life.. -
- In its own gentle way the film touches on peripheral questions of the crisis in men's mental health, and the limited entertainment or economic prospects for rural communities… -
- Kiwi Film Bellbird Is A Heartbreaking And Hopeful Portrait Of Masculine Grief. –
- Bellbird is a moving and quietly observational portrait of the filmmaker’s rustic roots. -
- Marshall is a master at the silence that speaks volumes. -
- “…terse poetry of inarticulate men struggling to process the depth of feeling that their silences and hesitations contain.” - Variety
- Hamish Bennett is also a primary school teacher.
- Bennett is particularly interested in real life. The stories he's drawn to tell in his films are those of people living quiet, often uncelebrated lives. -
- Bellbird follows on from Hamish Bennett's award-winning short film Ross & Beth (2014). – IMDB
- Director and schoolteacher Hamish Bennett based the script on memories of his rural Northland upbringing. -
- Bellbird film inspired by director's upbringing in rural Northland –
- Composer Karl Stevens accompanies these lives with a score making original use of ukuleles, reed organs and trumpets. -
- Bennett shot the film on a working dairy farm in Northland just 10km up the road from Tauraroa, where he grew up.
The Ross and Beth characters (first seen in Bennett's 2015 short film Ross and Beth) were inspired by a couple who lived next door when he was a child, he says.
Like Beth, Bennett's former neighbour did an equal share of the farming and acted as frontperson of the family.
The farm Bellbird was filmed on belongs to family friends and Bennett says that he personally knows every extra that appears on-screen, including his mum who plays the ukulele on the porch in one scene.
The Bellbird cast also includes corrections worker Stephen Tamapara (who plays the rural vet Clem), Northland-raised actor Rachel House (Connie) and 11-year old newcomer Kahukura Retimana (Marley).
Kahukura had never acted before, and came to the audition room with his cousin who was auditioning, Bennett says.
Passionate as he is about filmmaking, Bennett still loves teaching and will try and do both for as long as possible.
"Teaching is a really lovely profession… there's something quite tangible about spending a year in a class with kids and seeing where they start and where they end up. There's something inherently really rewarding about that."